Heat 1/2 cup of the oil in a large skillet (not cast iron) over medium heat. Add okra and cook, stirring frequently, until no longer ropy, about 30 minutes. Add vinegar; cook and stir another 10 minutes, until okra takes on a brownish color and is reduced to about a quarter of its original volume. Spoon okra into a bowl and set aside.
Bring water to a boil in a large stockpot over high heat. Meanwhile, add remaining 1/4 cup oil to skillet over medium-high heat; add ham and sauté 10 minutes or until lightly browned. With slotted spoon, remove ham to stockpot. In same skillet, combine onions, celery, garlic, and green pepper and cook, 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring constantly; add to stockpot along with okra and tomatoes. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
Reduce heat to very low, add shrimp, and simmer 10 minutes. Add crab meat and TABASCO® Sauce; simmer 5 to 10 minutes longer. Serve gumbo in soup bowls with mounds of rice.
Makes 12 to 16 servings.
From THE TABASCO® COOKBOOK ©1993 by Paul
McIlhenny with Barbara Hunter. Used by permission of Clarkson
Nutritional information per serving: 597 Calories, 58g protein, 42g carbohydrate, 21g fat, 244mg cholesterol, 1799mg sodium